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Sports

July 26, 2011

Time to ponder Pats' positives, potential pitfalls

I crave Patriots talk.

I admit it. The lockout battered all of us like Dwight Freeney on Brady's blind side.

But finally, as if it were orchestrated like a WWE title match, the labor strife has ended, just in time for training camps across this great land of ours.

All is again right with the world, even if two-a-days are a thing of the past and practice in pads is about to go the way of the "bull in the ring" drill.

Tom Brady will be back in that fire-engine red non-contact jersey, burning the rookie free agent from San Angelo State with 60-yard spirals to Brandon Tate. And all those loopy Patriots fans will swelter in the heat and cheer every non-contact screen pass that the big fella tosses to Kevin Faulk, who then dances through retreating defenders.

So with training camp 2011 ready to open, where do you stand?

Are the Patriots coming off a 14-2 season?

Or is this a football team that has dropped three straight playoff games, two in blowouts before the faithful at Patriot Place.

To me, I can't be satisfied the way this franchise has not capitalized on Brady's presence since 2004.

I've said it before, and I will stand behind it for as long as he toils at Patriots Place. The QB's health guarantees 10 wins at the minimum.

But no true Pats fan can believe in the talent around him as championship caliber, not with the way they've melted in January vs. the Jets last year and Baltimore following the 2009 season.

This roster has craved an upgrade in talent since the excruciating 2006 AFC title loss at Indianapolis.

The believers in these parts deem Jerod Mayo, Pat Chung, Brandon Meriweather and Devin McCourty as the new breed, ready to again carry this football team to the promise land.

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